It was your typical Sunday night and I was on my second (ok third) cosmic brownie of the night.  As I grabbed the delicious treat from it's classic packaging, I couldn't help but notice the Little Debbie logo smiling up at me.  Who exactly was this Little Debbie who had brought me so much joy? And on that note, what about the other loves of my life, like Mrs. Fields and Betty Crocker?  It was time for an investigation.  Here are the secrets behind who your favorite food characters really are.

Little Debbie

Ever wonder who the face behind your favorite oatmeal pie is? Little Debbie was founded by The McKee family when they started selling 5 cent snack cakes from the back of his car. In 1960 they began selling the first family pack of baked goods, and decided to name the company after their granddaughter, named (you guessed it) Debbie. 


The home of the Frosty was of in fact founded by a red head girl, but by a man named Dave Thomas.  Dave attempted to name the original restaurant with a combination of his children's names, but basically failed and was forced to pick favorites. Dave picked his daughter Melinda's nickname - Wendy.

Mrs. Fields

There are few things in life better than a warm Mrs. Fields chocolate chip cookie.  The mastermind behind the company is indeed named Mrs. Fields. According to the company's website, Debbi Fields opened her first store in Palo Alto, California in 1977.  Today, Mrs. Fields is a household name and sells products at over 300 retail locations globally and online. 

Duncan Hines

The name of your favorite brownie mix comes directly from the founder, who really is named Duncan Hines.  The Duncan Hines website explains the company blossomed when  Hines and his wife Clara send a list of 167 recommended establishments to their friends as a Christmas present. He went on to self published "Adventures in Good Eating," an expanded list of recommended restaurants. It becomes popular enough to be published as guide to the best hotels and motels, and a brand was born.

Chef Boyardee

Chef Boyardee is a real life chef, but his name is spelled a little differenty.  According to his website, Hector Boiardi was born in the Northwest Italian town of Piacenza in 1897, and before he was a teenager he was working as an apprentice chef at a local hotel. He grew up to become an acclaimed pasta chef in the US, and was inspired to create the Chef Boyardee brand - and the befefaroni -  that we love today.

Betty Crocker

Don't let it ruin your angel food cake, but Betty Crocker is not actual a real person.  How did she come to be?  According to Betty's website, Gold Medal Flour offered a prize if they  completed a jigsaw puzzle. The company received tons of responses and questions about baking.  They created "Betty Crocker" to personalize responses to the inquiries.  Crocker was chosen to honor a recently retired director, William G. Crocker. Betty was chosen "simply as a friendly sounding name." 

Orville Redenbacher

You've definitely eat the popcorn, but have you ever thought about the face behind the name? Orville Redenbacher is a real person, and in 1952 he hired family farmers to grow a kernel specifically for him.  Today it's a huge company, and their website proudly brags that they use REAL butter.  

Captain Morgan

You might not have a lot of time to think about who exactly Captain Morgan is when you're downing a shot of rum, but he is in fact a real guy.  According to the Flask, Morgan was a Welsh privateer who was born in 1635. Morgan raised fleets of ships for the British to attack Spanish outposts and ships.  So, he was pretty much a bad ass.

Oscar Mayer

What's a Summer cook-out without an Oscar Mayer wiener?  The company was founded by—you guessed it— Oscar F. Mayer.  Mayer moved to the U.S. from Bavaria when he was 14, and worked as a butcher in Detroit. He later worked in retail in Chicago, and went on to combine the two industries with the company we know and love.  

Next time you go to eat one of your favorite snacks, remember that there's an exciting history behind every brand and project.  And then grab an extra cosmic brownie, because you deserve it.